Senior Researcher - Agricultural Water Management

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The Senior Researcher Agricultural Water Management initiates, develops, leads and carries out research for development on agricultural water management and irrigated agriculture using approaches that combine methodologies for and technical knowledge of water management and farming systems. The researcher contributes scientific leadership on water management for sustainable and resilient food systems and builds and manages partnerships needed to achieve outcomes and impacts from research for development. The successful candidate will lead project development, including donor engagement, apply good project management practices and disseminate research results to key knowledge users and constituencies. They will play a leading role in research on agricultural water management in the CGIAR Action Area on Resilience Agri-food Systems and in the Action Area on Systems Transformation within One CGIAR.

The role can be based at Headquarters in Sri Lanka or an IWMI Regional Office, which includes Ghana, Ethiopia, Egypt, India, Nepal, Pakistan, South Africa or Uzbekistan.


  • Manage and further develop a portfolio of research projects in co-designing, testing and evaluating agricultural water management solutions within rainfed and irrigated agricultural production systems (part of food, land and water systems) in Africa, Asia and MENA;
  • Lead and participate in the assessment of irrigated agricultural production systems and the design and scaling of irrigation interventions appropriate to small, medium and large-scale irrigation systems;
  • Develop approaches for the efficient utilization of surface water and groundwater resources for agriculture that are sustainable and that enhance resilience at farm and irrigation scheme levels by considering larger scale (watershed, basin) interactions;
  • Identify new research trends and niches, and develop multi-year proposals for innovative research addressing themes in the IWMI Research Group on Sustainable and Resilient Food Systems (SuRF), part of the Strategic Program Water, Food and Ecosystems, in Africa, Asia and MENA;
  • Contribute to the overall direction of IWMI’s research agenda under One CGIAR and provide support to programs and partner organizations within the new One CGIAR structure, including in project development and implementation, capacity building, and information dissemination activities;
  • Lead and contribute to proposal writing and other fundraising opportunities for bilateral and multilateral funding sources;
  • Oversee the research of and mentor junior research staff and students and support regular team renewal and funded growth through development and advancement of junior researchers; identify learning needs that contribute to both skills enhancement and career progression; input in to individual goals and support developmental feedback; identify learning needs that contribute to both skills enhancement and career progression;
  • Disseminate findings via peer-reviewed publications, convene and attend workshops, conferences and webinars in a range of international, regional and national settings; Provide scientific leadership ensuring quantity and quality of research publications with due attention to the quality of publication outlets, accessibility to their target group, citations and bibliometric measures of impact;
  • Provide scientific leadership in the implementation of strategies and processes to ensure research quality. Ensure high qualityproject design, project implementation, research outputs and effective reporting;
  • Work with research colleagues to ensure that project outputs and engagement of partners are effectively coordinated to enhance impact. Provide information on relevant projects and research results and breakthroughs for communication to donors, research users, partners, networks and policy platforms;
  • Support a work environment that promotes a culture of collaboration, learningand effective knowledge sharing and knowledge transfer, interdisciplinary teamwork, evaluation, and innovation; and
  • Develop and manage partnerships with governments, organizations, businesses and other stakeholders needed to deliver IWMI’s research for development mission. Engage in relevant scientific, policy and development practitioner networks and platforms to foster application of research results and knowledge to achievement of outcomes and impacts relevant to areas of research.


  • PhD or equivalent experience in agricultural sciences, soil and water engineering, irrigation engineering, agricultural engineering or a closely related field;
  • 10 years relevant professional experience, preferably related research in developing countries;
  • Significant experience producing high quality written proposals, reports and academic papers for scientific and non-scientific audiences, as evidenced by a strong publication record;
  • Successful management of complex research projects, with multiple partners, in complex political environments, under conditions of limited access to data;
  • Excellent written and spoken English


  • Demonstrated in-depth knowledge and research experience relevant to IWMI’s overall mission of water management in developing countries;
  • An in-depth understanding of challenges and opportunities in low-income countries and emerging economies related to sustainable water, land and agricultural development in a changing climate;
  • Experience in engaging with professional networks and building strong partnerships with different categories of stakeholders;
  • Experience working with multi-disciplinary, multi-location, multi-cultural and multi-partner project team(s);
  • Proven ability to effectively communicate research results to stakeholders at different management levels in multiple countries;
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with coworkers, managers and other stakeholders in a multicultural setting, with sensitivity and respect for diversity;
  • Experience living and working in countries with developing economies.

Additional: Able to travel internationally when possible.


This is a internationally recruited position with a competitive salary commensurate with experience, an attractive retirement plan, comprehensive international insurance coverage and a transportation allowance. If the successful candidate requires an international relocation, the successful candidate may be eligible for additional allowances, which include housing, education, shipping assistance, and home leave transportation for employee and eligible dependents. The duration of the contract will initially be for a three-year period with possible extension.

To Apply

Your application must include your curriculum vitae, publications record, a cover letter that addresses the above stated requirements, and contact information of a minimum of three professional referees. At least 2 of the provided referees must be former or current supervisors. Referees will only be contacted with the prior consent of the candidate. All applications will be acknowledged, however, only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

Applications will be accepted until 24:00 hours (IST) on 16 May, 2021.

IWMI believes that diversity powers our innovation, contributes to our excellence, and is critical for our mission. We offer a multi-cultural, multi-color, multi-generational and multi-disciplinary working environment. We are consciously creating an inclusive organization that reflects our global character and our commitment to gender equity. We, therefore, encourage applicants from all cultures, races, ethnicities, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientations, and gender identities.

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